Project begins developing commercial applications of SOFC tech

A €10 million, five year project is developing commercial applications for SOFC (solid oxide fuel cell) technology.

Coordinated by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, the aim of the Commercial scale SOFC systems (ComSos) project is to implement the reliable production of low-emission electricity and heat. According to a statement, this will lead to ‘significant’ efficiency gains and carbon emissions savings compared to traditional energy production methods.

SOFC technology has the potential to enable the scalable use of biogas. The electrochemical conversion devices produce electricity directly by oxidising a fuel, operating at a conversion efficiency of 50% and with low carbon emissions.

A major advantage of SOFC compared to existing fuel cell technologies is that they can be operated with conventional fuels, such as biogas, natural gas and diesel fuel, instead of hydrogen.

Currently, the ComSos project is demonstrating fuel-cell based energy solutions in ‘authentic client environments’, namely Convion of Finland alongside Sunfire of Germany and Solidpower of Italy.

"Through the project, we will develop world-class commercial products on the basis of European fuel cell expertise. VTT has been developing fuel cell technology for over a decade and we have strong system expertise. We are now bringing this expertise to a project in which we are ensuring that the equipment is efficient, environmentally friendly and provides added value to end-users," says Project Coordinator Jari Kiviaho of VTT.

The project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, Hydrogen Europe and Hydrogen Europe research.

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